Archive | Hinky History

Why Canadians celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday

photo of queen victoriaHere in Canada we celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday, and it is known as Victoria Day.

Why? She has been dead for more than 110 years, and our current Queen has now been reigning almost as long as Vicky did. I mean, Canada barely has anything to do with the monarchy anymore.

Do we celebrate this ex-monarch’s natal anniversary because Canadians are great traditionalists and we still carry a torch for the Old Vic? After all, it was under her watchful, un-amused gaze that we started on the road to independence.

No, it is because we are terrified of her.

Those of you lucky enough to be born in Republics will never know the terror of falling asleep, worried not about the Boogity Man, or other non-existent creatures, but fearful of the dreaded Queen Victoria creeping into our rooms to deprive us of love, joy and perhaps even our very lives.

A history of worrying eugenics

Like many Royal families in Europe, the House of Hanover once suffered from inbreeding, but through an ad hoc eugenics program, they were able to instill their bloodlines with enough vigor to run roughshod over the United Kingdom.

Their secret? Carpathian werewolves.

It began, of course with Sophia of Hanover, who was quite a looker, but who had a taste for the exotic and enjoyed it a bit rough. Carpathian werewolves were brought in to satisfy her proclivities and produced George I, who became the first Hanoverian to rule Great Britain. Carpathian werewolf tendencies were noticed in George II, but it wasn’t until George III went howlingly mad were people convinced that there was a problem with this eugenics program.

16th century woodcut of a Carpathian werewolf

George IV was an indifferent king, and William IV did little damage. However, neither were to produce an heir, and it was up to George III’s fourth son, The Duke of Kent, to produce a new ruler. He did so with the help of Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Even at the time, there were rumors that the Princess had an extra-marital affair, and the lack of genetic weaknesses in Victoria’s children has been used as evidence.

Of course, we need look no further than the Princess’s diary, dated August 28, 1819 (roughly nine months before Victoria’s birthday) and we can learn the truth: “Did it with that animal again.” Was it another Carpathian werewolf? We can only assume, “yes.”

And so Victoria was the result of an accidental eugenics programs, filling her with the vigor, bloodlust and terrifying hunger of the Bane of Carpathia. To this day, she is known for the coldness of her presence, her ability to suck the very joy right out of the room, her insatiable desire for human flesh.

Here in the colonies we are still terrified of her, and so we ingratiate ourselves with her hairy be-clawed shadow by celebrating her birthday. (Because even if she was “laid to rest” in 1901, we all know she is not gone.)

Luckily, Carpathian werewolves are also put off by large amounts of alcohol and loud banging noises, so in Canada we have incorporated excessive drinking and fireworks in the holiday, just to be on the safe side.

So it worked out okay.

See also: 10 incredibly true facts about Queen Victoria

You know what really scares me more than Carpathian werewolves? Lots of humorists.

Colonel Sanders Crosses the Delaware

Great Moments in History (Vol. 1)

Little-known to most historians, “Colonel” Harland Sanders crossed the Delaware on December 25, 1776, just after George Washington’s boat. For his help in feeding the troops and giving free soda refills during the brutal winter of 1776 he was made an “Honorary Colonel”. After the war, the Second Continental Congress [note] awarded him the first fried chicken franchise in the new colonies.

[note:] Of course, the war didn’t actually end until the Treaty of Paris, but Sanders was awarded his honorary title DURING the 2nd Continental Congress. His promotion came after the disastrous winter of 1776, most likely in that July, before they signed the Declaration of Independence. (Incidentally, this happened in Philadelphia, where they shunned their traditional mode of serving steak for a chicken-fried version of the dish, to celebrate Sanders, and the birth of a nation devoted to freedom and saturated fats.)

The rest, as they say, is crave-it-fortnightly history.

Alltop knows some of the herbs and none of the spices. The original oil painting was done by Emanuel Leutze in 1851.

The League of Peculiar Gentlemen: The Americans

ohboys by Foxtongue

Not to be outdone by their British compatriots, the North American members of the League of Peculiar Gentlemen were also adept at strapping strange things to their faces.

Perhaps the most famous of the trio, is Larry “The Monocle” Zimmerman, pictured in the middle. The Monacle was one of the first superheroes to appear in the United States, and after he single-handedly defeated the Rodent Armada of the evil genius, Herr Zamboni, the CIA recruited him to the League. His “monocle face” was able to focus his intense self-loathing into a powerful “ennui” beam, causing his enemies to stop whatever they were doing and hang out at jazz cafes, smoke cigarettes, wear berets, and generally make them unable to foment communist rebellion in the Americas.

The other American member of the team (pictured on the left) was Professor Mezmordo, who had invented a headset capable of reading another’s thoughts. The headset was highly experimental, however, and was just as likely to cook the medulla oblongata of his foes as it was to allow the Professor to read anyone’s thoughts. (It also enabled Professor Mezmordo to grow a massive brain tumor in the shape of a second head, which is how he later became the supervillain, Professor Double Noggin.)

The lone Canadian on the team (right) was Roy “The Shelver” McMurphy, and his face-covering did not do anything except obscure his vision, which is probably why The Shelver was the first casualty on the team. However, it was McMurphy who deduced that his girlfriend, Pamela Lipwaxer, was an agent of the Committee for the Advancement of Stalin’s Mustache (CASM); this information was vital in giving the League their first victory over CASM’s hairy plots.

Not pictured: The Mexican member of the team, Don Colitas.

Happy Independence Day to all my friends under the 49th.

Read The League of Peculiar Gentlemen: The Brits.

The FridgularityTo celebrate the holiday, you can get the paperback of The Fridgularity for $3 off, if you buy it direct from Monkeyjoy Press. Use coupon code: YGMVFZZY. Available in all formats in all the usual places online :

Paperback ($15.99)
Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble Amazon.ca

Ebooks ($4.95)
Kindle | Smashwords | Kobo | Nook | iTunes

Alltop is the first casualty of humor. ohboys, a photo by Foxtongue on Flickr. Originally published May, 2012.

The League of Peculiar Gentlemen: The Brits

Though not as well-known as other Leagues composed of remarkable individuals, the League of Peculiar Gentlemen (LOPG) is none-the-less, an astonishing story of sacrifice, heroism, and strapping things over your face.

The first iteration of the LOPG featured six members of astonishing gravity, skill and oddness. They were an international organization, assembled by a joint task force of MI6, the CIA and the RCMP in the days following the end of WWII.

Their duty? To counteract the dire threat of the Communist Block and the proliferation of secret organizations dedicated to the destruction of the bourgeois freedoms enjoyed by the people of Western Europe and North America.

Stalin's mustache

Propaganda poster: "Stalin's great mustache!"

Their main foe was the Committee for the Advancement of Stalin’s Moustache — a fanatical group of Communist performance artists and facial hair stylists who had already converted many French intellectuals to the Communist ideology.

The British members of the League are pictured above from the left to right: Philip Pidgeon-Whaling, aka The Gernsbacker; Wally Impetago, The Heavy Breather; and, of course, the leader of the League of Peculiar Gentlemen, Lord Berty Stumpwhistle, known to the British public as Colonel Helmet.

Read The League of Peculiar Gentlemen: The Americans.

Alltop loves Stalinist facial hairstylings. Originally published May 2012.